Always Wear Clean Underwear! and other ways parents say “I love you” by: Marc Gellman

As the weather gets colder and our daylight hours continue to decrease, I want to share a light read – that has deep meaning. I came across Always Wear Clean Underwear years ago, and yet, it never got moved to the bottom pile of books. Whenever I take a stack of books to the basement and move a different stack onto more accessible shelves, this book stays where it is – on my night table.

What Marc Gellman does so well is capture the statements we heard growing up (and ironically find ourselves saying to our children), and infuses them with down to earth meaning. Here is one example: “Because I say so”. After validating both how frustrating this is to hear, and why it gets said so often, Gellman offers what he calls the big meaning behind the statement: “You have to love and trust good people if you are going to grow up being good.” There is so much to talk about philosophically and practically behind this statement’s big meaning. How do we find those people? How do we know they can be trusted? Should even those we trust be questioned? How do religious role-models fit into all of this? With 32 statements in all, you will find yourself nodding your head, laughing, pointing fingers, and asking yourself what statements you want your kids to hear – and of course the big meaning you hope they will appreciate behind them. Enjoy the read and perhaps a family conversation will evolve allowing you to create your own list of “alternative” ways to say “I love you.”

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